Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

Growing in the Fear of the Lord – A Homily for the 33rd Sunday of the Year

The past two Sundays have featured feasts (All Souls and the Feast of St John Lateran) that stepped out of the usual Sunday cycle. Thus, especially last week, we missed the November theme of the Last Things: death, judgment, Heaven, and Hell. Nevertheless, here on the 33rd Sunday, we are back to the last things […] Read the rest of this entry »

A Picture of Spiritual Intensity (or not) in a Paul Revere Spoof

The video below is a spoof on the Paul Revere story. It is said that Mr. Revere rode about at great personal risk warning as he rode, “The British are Coming!” Whatever historical debates occur about the veracity of the story as commonly told, one thing that is certain for us who have the Catholic […] Read the rest of this entry »

“I have seven thousand in Israel, who have never bent the knee to nor bowed to Baal” – A Word of Encouragement from God

Every now and again in times like these, I think of the prophet Elijah, anxious and fretting in a cave, so depressed he could barely eat. He was fleeing from Queen Jezebel, who sought his life. As Elijah looked to his beloved Israel, he saw a rather discouraging portrait of fellow Jews who were either […] Read the rest of this entry »

And Death is Gain…A Reflection on the Christian View of Death

In the month of November, we remember the souls of the faithful departed and our obligation to pray for them. November and into the early part of Advent is also a part of the Church year during which we begin to ponder the last things: death, judgment, Heaven, and Hell. In the northern hemisphere, the […] Read the rest of this entry »

Are These the “Outer Bands” of a Coming Judgment?

Are we in the “Last Days”? Generally it would seem not, though there are sobering indicators that the outer bands of a coming storm are overhead. The sum total teaching of eschatology would seem to indicate that a number of things must first happen before the end: a comprehensive completion of the going out of the […] Read the rest of this entry »

Does “Gospel” Simply Mean “Good News”? Or Have We Unintentionally Defined Ourselves into a Corner?

There are times in the Church when we want to define something rather easily and simply so as to make it memorable and easy to grasp. But in so doing, we run the risk of doing harm to its deeper, richer, and more accurate meaning. I wonder if we have not done this with the […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Heavenly Elements of the Liturgy

In November, Catholics are encouraged to meditate on the “Last Things.” As you know, I write quite often on Hell. But I have written on Heaven, too. In this post I propose simply to set forth how much of our liturgy is a kind of dress rehearsal for Heaven. Indeed, Catholics are often unaware just how biblical […] Read the rest of this entry »

A Homily for the Feast of St John Lateran

Today is the Feast of St. John Lateran in Rome. This is the Pope’s true Cathedral (not St. Peters). And thus, in celebrating this Feast, we celebrate the unity of the Church. The Pope’s work is to unite and strengthen the members of the Church, whom the devil would like to sift (divide) like wheat (see […] Read the rest of this entry »

Our Tendency to Make Poor Decisions, As Seen in a Funny Commercial

The commercial in the video below pokes fun at the horror move genre, saying, “When you’re in a horror movie you make poor decisions … it’s what you do.” And as I watched it, it occurred to me that this is a pattern we also follow too easily. The Christian version of the saying might go […] Read the rest of this entry »

Faith Brings Comfort, But Not at First – A Reflection on a Teaching by Peter Kreeft

For ongoing education and spiritual growth, I am always reading. One of the books I am currently reading is Peter Kreeft’s Angels and Demons. As most of you know, I have often expressed concern that angels have been sentimentalized and even trivialized. Most people’s conception of angels is far from what the Bible describes! If you […] Read the rest of this entry »

Why Did Christ Humble Himself in the Face of Evil?

Earlier this week we read the magnificent hymn from Philippians, which sings of the Humility of Jesus: Have among yourselves the same attitude  that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the […] Read the rest of this entry »

The Road to Hell is Paved With…Indifference. A Meditation on a Warning by Jesus

The Gospel from today’s Mass (Tuesday of the 31st week of the year) features the familiar Lucan version of the parable of a certain man (in the Matthew version (Mat 22:2), Jesus calls him a king) who gave a banquet. But when all was prepared and the servants were sent out to fetch the invited […] Read the rest of this entry »